Vehicle control: New automated highway, vehicle sensor standards released


New standards have been released governing data collection and communications among vehicle sensors and automated highway transportation systems. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have jointly released five new standards relating to the National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol (NTCIP).

The NTCIP is a joint standardization project of AASHTO, ITE, and NEMA, with funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Since 1996, groups have been jointly developing the NTCIP family of communication protocols for traffic management devices. A free copy of the standards' title page, table of contents, and scope are available by visiting NEMA's Website .

People new to the NTCIP should download The NTCIP Guide (NTCIP 9001).

The new standards are:

  • NTCIP 1102:2004, version 01.15, Octet Encoding Rules (OER) Base Protocol, October 2005 edition ($61.00) is an NTCIP-base standard that defines the presentation layer data encoding rules used in conjunction with application layer protocols. NTCIP 1102 is a replacement for part of the superseded NTCIP 1101 (STMF), but also defines additional features. The NTCIP 1100-series base standards define procedures and rules for providing the fundamental operations associated with communications and information exchange over communications links.

  • NTCIP 1201:2005, version 02.32, Global Object (GO) Definitions—version 02, October 2005 edition ($94.00) is an NTCIP device data dictionary standard that defines data elements which may be used by a variety of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) traffic management devices, such as data related to device identification, time, scheduling capabilities, event reporting, auxiliary device monitoring and control, and security configuration. The version v02 is a major revision to the superseded NTCIP 1201:1996 v01.10, and now provides Unified Modeling Language diagrams to more clearly define various rules and concepts.

  • NTCIP 1206:2005, version 01.23, Object Definitions for Data Collection and Monitoring (DCM) Devices, November 2005 edition ($176.00) is an NTCIP device data dictionary standard that defines data elements used for the configuration control and status monitoring of transportation data collection devices. DCM equipment processes sensor signals to yield information about the traffic passing over a sensor array. The traffic information is stored in the DCM equipment as data files for future retrieval. The DCM equipment may be portable, or the equipment may be installed permanently for continuous monitoring. The NTCIP 1206 DCM standard is one of the largest NTCIP standards. To help users navigate the document, the PDF file was authored with embedded links. The links can be found in several places: the table of contents, the subsection on "How to use this document," and in the annexes for references to the Clauses, object status, and user requirements.

  • NTCIP 1208:2005, version 01.12, Object Definitions for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Switching, October 2005 edition ($94.00) is an NTCIP device data dictionary standard that defines data elements used for the control and status monitoring of CCTV video switching devices. Video switches are deployed in traffic management systems to switch video sources (such as cameras, VCR playback, and digital video decoders) to video destination devices (such as monitors, projectors, and VCR recording inputs). The data elements that control CCTV cameras, lens, the pan/tilt units, and camera-generated titles and labels are defined in NTCIP 1205.

  • NTCIP 1209:2005, version 01.19, Data Element Definitions for Transportation Sensor Systems, November 2005 edition ($75.00) is an NTCIP device data dictionary standard that defines data elements used for monitoring and controlling TSS devices for detecting and communicating certain traffic parameters. A TSS device can be a loop detector, a video image processing system, or could use other sensing technology. NTCIP 1209 also defines a zone, a virtual zone, and a sensor, and describes how zones can be logically grouped together.

An electronic copy of the standards may be downloaded, or a hardcopy may be purchased by visiting NEMA's Website, or by contacting IHS at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), (303) 397-2740 (fax).

The new standards are available from the NTCIP Website, , as no-cost Adobe PDF downloads. This special offer is made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's ITS Joint Program Office. The standards are also available in printed softcover editions through AASHTO and ITE.

Contact the AASHTO Publications Bookstore at (800) 231-3475, or visit .

Contact ITE Bookstore at (202) 289-0222 ext. 130 (international), (202) 289-7722 (fax).

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor

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